The influence of liming on rhizosphere microbial biomass C and incorporation of root exudates was studied in the field by in situ pulse labelling of temperate grassland vegetation with (CO2)-C-13 for a 3-day period. In plots that had been limed (CaCO3 amended) annually for 3 years, incorporation into shoots and roots was, respectively, greater and lower than in unlimed plots. Analysis of chloroform-labile C demonstrated lower levels of C-13 incorporation into microbial biomass in limed soils compared to unlimed soils. The turnover of the recently assimilated C-13 compounds was faster in microbial biomass from limed than that from unlimed soils, suggesting that liming increases incorporation by microbial communities of root exudates. An exponential decay model of C-13 in total microbial biomass in limed soils indicated that the half-life of the tracer within this carbon pool was 4.7 days. Results are presented and discussed in relation to the absolute values of C-13 fixed and allocated within the plant-soil system.
- SUBSTRATE-INDUCED RESPIRATION